Altnaharra to Inverness (96.3 miles)
After the incredible effort put in by the team on Day 4, the last day of the challenge was going to push the boys to the limit of their endurance. The weather was not helping either, cold and wet in Altnaharra, with the prospect of a seven-mile climb to the Crask Inn (one of the UK’s most remote pubs) focussing the minds.
The day’s stage was, on paper, slightly less hilly than previous days, as the team deaded south and east out of the Highlands and back to Inverness. But having had to cut 9 miles from the route yesterday due to the weather, these miles were to be added back with an extra detour to make sure the full NC500 distance was covered.
The silver lining for the team was that the extra mileage meant circumventing the vicious hill of ‘The Struie” (which Miles thought was impossibly steep for bikes having driven it a couple of weeks earlier).
Getting through the final day became a war of attrition, with 13-15 mile sections ticked off one by one, Sean and Pete delivering a constant supply of hot drinks and high-protein snacks and gels to keep the boys rolling towards the finish.
Lunch came after 65 miles and provided some respite from the slog and the weather, and with just two 15 mile sections to cover to the finish line, the boys could finally accept that they were nearing the end.
Rolling into Inverness at 5.30pm, they could celebrate a successful tour, which has now raised over £20,000 for our two charities, Cancer Research UK and Candlelighters. A brilliant effort from the whole team, to cycle 500 miles in 5 days is hard enough, but to add in the terrain of the Highlands and the changeable inclement weather, made it the toughest challenge the boys have taken on… so far!
The team are completing 500 miles in 5 days to raise much-needed funds for Candlelighters and Cancer Research UK, all donations are greatly appreciated. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/HighlandCyclingChallenge